Phil Bozeman - Vocals
Ben Savage - Guitar
Zach Householder - Guitar
Alex Wade - Guitar
Gabe Crisp - Bass
As the death metal genre continues to explode, Knoxville’s Whitechapel stand bloody head and bruised shoulders above the pack. With a ruthlessly brutal aural assault built upon merciless blastbeats and spine-destroying breakdowns, their three guitarists deliver immense riffs and monstrous leads while vocalist Phil Bozeman vomits out lyrics that avoid clichés and give fans something to think about as they scream them back. Basically stated, this is as shit-your-pants exhilarating as modern metal gets.
Formed in 2006, it did not take local metal fans long to realize that they had something very special going on in their midst. “We went from fifty of our friends coming to our shows to two hundred people coming out inside of six months,” guitarist Alex Wade states. “We’ve always held ourselves to a certain level of professionalism, we worked our asses off, and I think we definitely offered something that a lot of bands in the scene did not.”
Building such momentum, it is unsurprising that the sextet – rounded out by guitarists Ben Savage and Zach Householder, bassist Gabe Crisp, and drummer Kevin Lane – soon found themselves courted by record labels, signing to the UK’s Siege Of Amida, for their 2007 debut, The Somatic Defilement (with Candlelight handling the US release). Hitting the road hard, both their profile and army of fans grew rapidly. Inside of a year, they were signed by Metal Blade following an intense bidding war between eight labels hungry to add the Tennessee wrecking crew to their roster, and the band immediately set about working on their second album, the titanic This Is Exile.
A quantum leap forward in terms of song writing and focused vitriol, This Is Exile threw a gauntlet down to all others trying to crowd into the genre alongside them. Admitting that the lyrical content on The Somatic Defilement was limited to “typical brutal death metal stuff – songs about evil ways to kill people and that kind of thing”, Bozeman approached This Is Exile in a far more cerebral manner, uniting the songs through a core concept. “The record was a lot more about the kind of evil that actually exists in the world,” the vocalist states. “It was about three specific people who hunger after power, which leads them to starting a diabolical war that ends the world. I was really proud of it, because it had a lot more feeling and maturity about it, and it gave people something a little different.”
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